Reading the questions from others about there fiberglass pool kind of scares me. I'm looking into purchasing a pool and I'm not sure if concrete, liner or fiberglass is the better way to go.
I hear salt water is better for your skin and eyes. I hear fiberglass is less maintenance, but then read about cracks, blue/black marks, fiberglass flakes irritating the skin.
In your opinion what would be the best kind of pool to get for your money and for easy maintenance?
Thanks for the question
I'll first start out by saying this question will be answered strictly from a money/business point of view.
There are assets and liabilities. An asset bring you passive income and a liability takes money from you without any return. In my opinion, most pools are a financial liability. You must take into consideration the water, chemical, and electrical use along with the possibility of your home insurance going up. It might be a good home selling point, but will putting a $35,000 inground pool increase your property value by that amount?
That being said, it's a question of what kind of liability you want. Your question mentions fiberglass pools using less chemicals, which is correct, but then run the risk of streaking and cracks. A new plaster pool looks beautiful but may need to be replastered in a few years and use a bit more chemicals.
Vinyl is soft on your feet and come into a huge variety of colors and designs, but can tear, get wrinkled, and if they leak you can have an issue of mold underneath the liner.
Personally, I'd stay away from vinyl liners. In short, too much hassle.
So now the question is either fiberglass or plaster,
and it's really a toss up with those. You talk to the plaster company and they'll tell you to go plaster all the way because of "X", fiberglass pools will "pop up", and you won't be able to choose the exact shape you want.
The fiberglass people will say nonsense. There's a huge variety of pool shapes available and besides, fiberglass is better on chemicals than plaster. Do you really want to replaster and repaint every few years?
From a personal and professional view, I'd go with plaster and a cartridge filter. Fiberglass is a little too slick for me. I would most certainly stay away from DE and sand filters. If you look on the Q&A page you'll see the number of questions from DE and sand filters vs. cartridge. DE filters are way too messy and with sand you run the risk of broken lateral and sand going back into the pool.
With cartridge, you simply take the dirty one out and replace it with a clean one. No mess and you don't lose water backwashing. Spray the dirty one off and allow to dry.
There are only two benefits to having a salt pool. First, the water does feel better and 2nd, you don't need to manually add chlorine to the pool. A salt pool is NOT a chemical free pool. The chlorine cell still produces hypochlorous acid. You still need to clean the cell a few times per year. I wouldn't have a salt pool because of the cost of the cell vs. chlorine and besides, I like to balance pools, vacuum, and add chemicals. Anything I can do I'll do it, but that's just me.
Hopefully this has given you a good starting point.